A cryotherapy treatment exposes your body to extremely cold temperature for a few minutes. This is a relatively new practice that is available in some spas, but the principle behind these treatments isn’t new since it’s similar to using ice packs or ice baths. Here are a few important things you need to know about before trying this treatment.
There Are Several Options To Explore
Cryo-chambers are receiving a lot of attention as more spas are offering these treatments. These chambers expose your entire body to temperatures between -200 and -300°C for a few minutes.
However, you can expose your body to cold temperatures between eight and 15°C by taking an ice bath. You can also safely use ice packs at home for localized treatments.
Due to the extremely cold temperatures used in cryo-chambers, these treatments last between two and four minutes. You can use an ice bath or ice packs for fifteen to twenty minutes without any side effects.
Cold Is Good For Your Nerves
Cold temperatures cause your nerve endings to become numb. This can be a good thing if you suffer from nerve irritation or inflammation.
You can use a cold treatment to target an area and numb those nerve endings if you sustained an injury. This treatment is also effective if you suffer from a pinched nerve.
Cryo-chambers are popular among individuals who suffer from migraines. Nerves can be responsible for these recurring headaches, and exposure to cold temperatures reduce migraine pain and make these headaches less frequent.
Helps With Arthritis Symptoms
Arthritis is a condition where joints become stiff and inflamed. It can be very painful and negatively affect your quality of life.
Arthritis patients often use hot and cold treatments to manage pain. Warmth helps relax muscles and joints while cold temperatures numb the pain.
Exposure to extremely cold temperature helps with inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis. If you suffer from arthritis, it is best to use localized treatments that can target your joints.
Cold treatments usually have a positive effect on individuals who suffer from arthritis. These treatments help reduce pain and improve mobility.
Relieves Chronic Pain
Cold temperatures can help with chronic pain. These treatments increase the production of endorphins and restore your antioxidant balance.
Some studies have looked at the effects of using a cryo-chamber on chronic pain and found positive results. Several patients reported experiencing lower levels of pain after using a cryo-chamber.
The treatments reduced pain level and improved mobility in patients who suffered from chronic back pain.
Another study looked at the effect of these treatments on fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia is a serious health condition that isn’t fully understood yet. Researchers believe that this condition causes chronic pain because it modifies the way the brain perceives pain.
The study found that exposure to cold temperatures resulted in less pain and improved the quality of life of a significant percentage of patients.
Speeds Up Healing
Ice baths have been popular among athletes because cold water helps muscles heal faster. This translates into a shorter recovery time after an intensive workout session. Athletes also sometimes use cold treatments to speed up recovery after a sports-related injury.
There are studies supporting the use of ice bath and cold treatments for athletes, but no evidence that exposure to cold temperature can speed up healing for everyone else. However, it is possible that the positive effect of cold therapy on circulation would contribute to faster recovery for injuries or after a workout.
Boosts Blood Circulation
Your body responds to cold temperature by increasing your blood flow to keep you warm. Exposure to extremely cold temperatures results in significantly higher blood flow.
Increased blood flow has a positive impact on your mood and energy levels. It can also help with pain relief and muscle healing. You should see an improvement in your stamina and athletic performance after using a cryo-chamber.
Possible Benefits For Athletes
There are several studies that look at the benefits of cryotherapy for athletes. Exposure to cold temperature has multiple benefits linked to athletic performance.
Cold temperatures help athletes recover faster after exercising. It also increases blood oxygen levels and helps regular their heart rate.
An ice bath or other forms of cold therapy can help restore energy levels after exercising intensively. Some studies have found clear benefits for professional athletes while other studies haven’t been as conclusive.
Cold temperature improves blood flow, especially to the skin. It also reduces inflammation of the skin.
Some studies have found that cold therapy increases the levels of antioxidants present in the blood, which has a positive effect on skin health.
It is believed that regular exposure to cold treatments could help with different skin health conditions, such as dermatitis, eczema, and inflammation. A study has found potential benefits for reducing sebum production in animals, which means that using a cryo-chamber could have a positive effect on acne.
Your body responds to cold temperatures by increasing your heart rate and blood flow. This can be beneficial for your heart health as long as you don’t have a pre-existing heart condition.
Sessions in a cryo-chamber could regulate your heart health and strengthen your heart muscle since your heart will pump more blood while you are in the chamber. These sessions can also boost your energy levels and help you exercise more regularly, which would have a positive effect on your heart health.
Tinnitus is the medical name given to hearing a ringing sound in your ears. This issue isn’t fully understood yet, but some researchers believe that it could be caused by nerves or irregular blood flow.
A study found that a short session in a cryo-chamber made a significant difference for many individuals who suffered from tinnitus. The symptoms completely disappeared for a few participants while a majority reported an improvement.
However, a few participants reported that their symptoms worsened after the therapy session. Tinnitus has different possible causes and exposure to cold air may or may not help depending on what is causing your tinnitus.
Many spas promote cold therapy as a way to lose weight. It is true that exposure to cold temperatures can boost your metabolism and cause you to burn more calories while you take an ice bath or are exposed to cold air in a cryo-chamber.
However, your body will compensate by storing more fat. A single session in a cryo-chamber could help jumpstart your metabolism, but you might end up storing more fat and find that you are craving foods rich in fat if you use cold treatments on a regular basis.
The effects of cryo-chambers on weight loss are mixed. You can get positive results if you combine exposure to cold temperatures with a well-balanced diet and an exercise program, but you should be aware that your body might respond to these sessions by storing more fat than usual.
Inflammation can spread to your brain and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage your brain if it is sustained over several years.
Oxidative stress is believed to cause anxiety and depression. In the long-term, oxidative stress is believed to increase your risks of developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Cold therapy could reduce oxidative stress, improve your mood, and reduce your risks of experiencing anxiety and depression besides reducing your risks of developing more serious conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Immune System Function
Studies suggest that exposure to cold temperature increase your white blood cell count. Even though these studies haven’t looked at how exposure to cold temperatures affects your immune system, a higher white blood cell count would, in theory, improves immune system function.
Possible Side Effects Of Cryotherapy
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause temporary side effects such as tingling, irritation, and numbness. These symptoms should disappear within a few hours.
However, some individuals have developed frost bites and rashes after using a cryo-chamber. You can reduce your risks of developing these complications by not staying inside one of these chambers for more than a few minutes.
You should know that cryo-chambers have not been approved by the FDA. It is safer to use another form of cold therapy to avoid side effects, such as ice packs or ice baths.
Not All Benefits Are Proven
Whole-body cold therapy is a new trend. You can find cryo-chambers in many spas but these treatments haven’t been thoroughly studied.
A lot of studies have been conducted on athletes or animals and might not reflect how this form of therapy will affect you. More research is needed to get conclusive results for a lot of the benefits advertised by spas, such as weight loss or improved skin health.
Cryotherapy is a new form of therapy that you can find in some spas. Exposure to extremely cold temperatures carries some benefits such as improving blood flow, skin health, and heart health, but it is important to be aware of the side effects and possible risks associated with using a cryo-chamber.
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